Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Creamy Chicken, Asparagus and Mushroom Pasta

Anytime I take a trip to Trader Joe's, I find myself stuck in the produce section staring aimlessly at their amazing selection of fruit and veggies. I end up tossing everything that looks fresh and appetizing into my cart unless I am prepared with a full grocery list. The way I see it is you can't go wrong stocking up on nutritious ingredients... as long as you use them before they spoil.

Last weekend I knew I wanted to make my roasted tomato veggie casserole. After stocking up on the ingredients I wandered to the cooler section to grab zucchini to complete the dish and noticed the asparagus..then the mushrooms...then Brussels sprouts. I was overwhelmed and couldn't resist purchasing all three ingredients.  Within minutes, I figured out how to use it and continued on my way through the store. (Brussels sprouts will be used later this week.)

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb chicken breast, cubed (seasoned with salt, pepper, and oregano)
1 bunch of asparagus, stems removed, diced in about two inch sticks
1 cup sliced portabella mushrooms
1/2 red onion, diced
1 glove garlic, smashed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Parmesan
8 oz gluten free pasta (Trader's brown rice and quinoa pasta is the best!)
Salt, pepper and oregano to taste

1) Cook pasta as directed on package. Rinse then set aside.
2) While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add seasoned cubed chicken and cooked until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside. To that heated pan, add mushrooms, onion and asparagus and cook until softened. Stir chicken and pasta in with veggies then remove from heat.
3) Once pasta and veggies are cooked heat the butter in your sauce pan over medium heat, until melted. Add heavy cream and cook until cream starts to bubble and looks thickened. Stir in Parmesan then salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat then toss over pasta mixture.

Because I am a Parmesan fanatic, I always add more to my dish as I eat. This meal is insanely delicious!! And to me, I feel no guilt in the creamy cheesy sauce since it's packed full of healthy veggies and chicken! :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Restaurant Review: Sauce NYC

I've been dying to go to Sauce on Allen and Rivington for a while. They specialize in homemade pasta sauce, hence the name. Sadly, gluten free pasta is not on their menu. :(

Thankfully, they do have some great brunch options and really, after seeing this you won't want to bother looking for anything else! It's called The Plank. Creamy polenta topped with their signature bolognese sauce, Parmesan cheese and two poached eggs. 

My taste buds died and went to heaven!! It was so damn good. The yolk cascaded over every delicious bite of the bolognese and the cloud like fluff of the polenta was there to soak it all up. Mmm mmm mm!!! 

The meal is meant for two and is served on an actually wooden plank and is assembled right before your eyes. Hands down, everyone needs to try this dish!! You won't regret it! 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Two Ingredient Pancakes

Okay, I have seen like 800 Pinterest and Buzzfeed posts about the miracle two ingredient pancakes using only one banana and two eggs. After weeks of curiosity, I finally found a morning where I could give it a try.

All you have to do is put one banana and two eggs in a blender until they're smooth. Pour the batter into a pre-heated, pre-greased saute pan and after a few minutes, you have yourself a pancake! Of course my first try was a fail. In the video I watched, the cook poured all the batter out at once and made a gigantic pancake. Yea... good luck flipping that. I ended up with scrambled eggs and banana. Not going to lie...it tasted pretty damn good!

The next morning, I redeemed myself and made several small pancakes. So delicious!! And they're totally guilt-free. Two eggs and a banana for breakfast?? You can't get much healthier than that!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sweet Potato with Ground Turkey and Veggie Hash

Sweet potatoes!! Another delicious nutritious food that I recently started eating. Yes, at 30 years old, this is a newer food to me. For some reason, I always disliked the taste. What's not to like?? They're starchy, sweeter and packed full of health benefits.

I've been on a huge sweet potato kick the last two months. Usually, I eat them as a side dish but I saw a great recipe for sweet potato sliders, using the potato as the bun. I really liked the idea but wanted to make the meal more rustic and put together a burger-like hash. It was great! The ingredients came together making each bite very balanced from a flavor perspective.

1 medium sweet potato
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb ground turkey
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/4 cup of corn
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup mushrooms
1 clove garlic, smashed
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Wash then bake potato until fully cooked. I popped mine in the microwave so I didn't have to put in much effort.
2) Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil then cook turkey until fully browned. Add in onion, pepper, corn, garlic and mushrooms until all veggies are softened. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Cut cooked potato in half on a plate then spoon turkey and veggie hash on top.

Voila! A fully balanced dinner in 20 minutes or less.

Restaurant Review: The Little Beet Table

The Little Beet Table is my new favorite restaurant! I came across it while scrolling through the Find Me Gluten Free app. After looking at the menu, I could not wait to try it. Apparently, it is quite the hot spot. A friend and I tried to go on a Tuesday night and couldn't get a reservation for two until 9pm. We figured we'd risk it and wait for a table and lucked out by getting a great spot at the bar.

The entire restaurant is gluten free and has so many delicious menu options. Between the two of us, we figured we'd split an entree and two appetizers. Our server recommended all three items we had in mind  so that was very reassuring. For appetizers, we settled on acorn squash with hazelnuts, honey and pecorino and the grilled beets with Greek yogurt and pumpkin seed-almond granola. For our main dish, we had the mushroom flatbread with arugula, tomatoes, mozzarella and pecorino cheese.

Acorn Squash

The acorn squash was incredible. The sweet softness of the squash mixed with the crunch of hazelnuts and tang of pecorino felt like a little party for your taste buds! I had no shame enjoying more of my share! 

Grilled Beets

Next up were the grilled beets. I loved that they used both red and golden beets. The Greek yogurt was mixed with dill that added such a freshness and of course, who wouldn't a little sweet & salty crunch with the granola? This was a wonderful light dish.

Mushroom Flatbread

To round out the meal, we had the mushroom flatbread. The crush was very thin and had the perfect crunch (crunch seems to be the theme of this meal...) We did both agree that it could have used a bit more sauce or wetness though. The mushrooms, cheese and tomatoes paired with the crunchy crust left us wanting something a little juicy. 

Just when we thought we were finished, we decided to check out the dessert menu. Big mistake!! Mistake, in that we wanted all three of their menu items. :) Our server recommended the roasted apples with vanilla-walnut haroseth and battenkill cream. OH MY GOOOODDDD.... it was AMAZING! Everything you could ever want in an apple pie in a perfect little bowl topped with creamy, caramel goodness. Every bite was Heaven. 

Roasted Apples

If this hasn't sold you on checking out The Little Beet Table, I don't know what to tell you. It's got me thinking about the next time I can get back!

Best Care Package Ever!!

My mom is the bomb! She sent me the best care package for my birthday! When I was home over the holidays I picked up chia seeds to make my new favorite breakfast yogurt (recipe to come.) After realizing the seeds were $4.99 in Michigan compared to $11.99 for the same amount in NYC, I was angry! Why on Earth do New Yorkers have to pay twice as much to eat healthy options!?? The same goes for the Kind granola bars (The Maple Pumpkin Seed ones rock!) These run $4.99-$5.99 in NYC and $2.50 in Michigan.

Thankfully, my mom is awesome and offered to send me a stockpile of my favorite goodies. I was so excited when the box came. Ahh... the little things. :)

Protein Packed Spinach Salad

Sometimes after a long day I just want a quick, flavor packed meal. As I have started to shop for healthier options I've expanded my palate and have fallen in love with beets! I absolutely love putting beets in salads. Those Greek's really got it right with their salad prep. Tonight, I threw together an amazing, protein packed salad and even pushed my flavor envelope and included cooked lentils!

There was no real measuring when it came to this salad but I included spinach, beets, lentils, edamame and low-fat feta cheese. I topped it with balsamic glaze, a little olive oil and black pepper. It was super delicious and filling. Each bite had the perfect mix of crunch, tang and creaminess. This will definitely be a new go-to salad for me.